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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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DURATION
01:00:00

RATING
PG

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Michigan 9, Us 4, Eliot 4, New York 4, John Boehner 2, The Irs 2, Newt Gringrich 2, Boehner 2, Washington 2, Granholm 1, Sandy 1, Irs 1, Rolo 1, Barack Obama 1, Pac 1, The Senate 1, Sec 1, Joe Smith 1, Fed 1, Funnying 1,
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  Current    Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    December 12, 2012
    5:00 - 6:00pm PST  

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how do we explain the radical swing to the right? with an unique insight on that i'm joined by jennifer granholm, two-term governor of michigan, host of "the war room," and star of the democratic convention, welcome to the show. >> thank you eliot. >> eliot: perhaps, a sad day for michigan politics, watching what has been happening there. these pieces of legislation being pushed through so quickly. what is your sense of what is happening to politics in your home state. >> there has been a complete and total takeover of the apparatus of government by the conservative. the house, the senate, the governor's hoves the attorney general the secretary of state
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the supreme court all controlled by republicans. even though they went over nine points for barack obama we're seeing this. why? there has been a huge take over because democrats did not show up at the polls so much and the republicans did that happened in michigan, now we're seeing the results of it. >> eliot: 2010, you were as governor was living through a transition that was incredibly difficult, but i think they'll be successful because of the things did you but you put in place a republican establishment that is contrary to what most voters in michigan seem to be saying nine points for president obama, still a blue state, yet there seems to be an anti-unionism that is coursing through the bloodstream. >> there is an anti-unionism that is coursing through the bloodstream of the republican legislature, but that does not
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mean that it's on the ground of michigan. if you ask people if it would be a good idea to put this right to work law in place, you would get the majority of the people--i don't think how much of the majority but clearly the majority who would say they do not want this to happen, and it is too divisive. the governor flip flopped in the last minute even though he campaigned on not being a divisive governor. there was pressure from members of the legislature on him. there was apparently some closed-door meeting where the senate majority leader who is a republican and who is a pro- pro-labor republican who flip flopped because he felt he might be primaried. it's being played by the billionaires who we see playing this on the national level but also michigan has a few of them that has particular clout in the republican party in michigan. >> eliot: well look, you defeated one of them twice in your gubernatorial races much to your credit. you and i frankly as governors
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know that you have to as governor negotiate aggressively with everybody whether it's the union or legislature but that's not the same thing as changing the rules, which is what this so-called right to work--i even hate that phrase because that's not what it is. but they're changing the rules in a way thate viscerates the capacity of workers to form and collect. >> new york is one of the bastia bastians of organized labor. when you were governor, when i was governor, we would negotiate with the unions to get the concessions and savings necessary. they were the people on the ground who could best identify where the savings were. that's true as well in the auto industry. they trumpet the number of jobs they have created in 2010, but ironically the vast majority of
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those jobs are automotive jobs and they came because of the concessions that the union put in place to make it competitive. it's a heart breaking week for those of us who know the history and know the potential of unions to be the force for good. >> eliot: you spoke to many executives over your years as governor and said what will it take to invest more capital in this state. ask they say if you become a right to work state? is that what they talked about? >> well, there were some who said i'm going to go to alabama because it is a right to work state. that is true. but there were a lot of them, and fact the auto industry appreciated the fact that there was such a great working relationship with the uaw and have you talked to bob king on your show? >> eliot: no. >> he will tell you that the uaw are obsessed with quality and
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they would be the ones who are able to identify where the chinks in armor are and they recognize that it's not just the management against labor any more but that it is american companies versus the rest of the world, and they want those jobs in america. they're going to find ways to make those businesses competitive here. >> eliot: i got to tell you in the conversation i've had, i don't think i ever heard anyone say we want you to be a right to work state. they wanted skills, an educated workforce. they wanted the environment to be able to get the people they wanted. those were the issues that mattered. if you look at the date tax i'm not persuaded--i'm persuaded contrary to what the right to work advocates say that it does not increase jobs. >> what they do is increase wages which increases demand and the purchasing power of people who are purchasing products that they will manufacture. it is a backward strategy and a
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race to the bottom. if we want to compete with china by lower ourselves to the standards that they have, that is just not the way that america is going to lead the world. it's not going to be the way that we feed our people. i read an article in salon that says that michigan has given up and it will become a service-own state. >> eliot: it's a shame to watch. one last question, there is much commentary, and rightly so, that these have been rammed through a lame duck legislature. would these bills have passed next year, what do you think would they have been able to do this? >> i think it would be a lot of tougher. there are a number of republicans who have close ties to labor, but you know, the other weird thing, eliot because they were jammed through in the space of two days by using those maneuvers to do it, you'll never know the answer because nobody had a chance to
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work on people, to comment whether they would be persuaded. >> eliot: governor granholm, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thanks, eliot. >> eliot: the numbers don't even aid up. that's next. take action themselves. as a human being that's really important. this is not just a spectator sport. ♪ ♪ the trucks are going farther. the new 2013 ram 1500. ♪ ♪ with the best-in-class fuel economy. engineered to move heaven and
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>> eliot: in tonight's facts matter segment the numbers are flying fast fast fast fast and furious about the right to work bill signed yesterday in michigan. take a look at this claim yesterday from fox news.
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>> as of october the average unemployment rate in right to work.states is 6.9%. but 7in' 6% unemployment in non-right to work.states. the national rate for that month, 7.9%. >> very interesting numbers. >> eliot: they are more than very interesting numbers. they are impossible numbers. they some how find that the average of 6.9% and 7.6% is 7.9 percent without bothering to explain how they got to those numbers, numbers that anybody can he see just don't make sense. we did the hard work and looked at the raw data and it seems that they made the rookie mistake of averaging the state's percentages without accounting for the different sizes of the states involved. which just goes to show you you have careful you have to be in the numbers that you're using. we too found that non-right to work states did have higher
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unemployment than states with right to work.laws. so the question here is that of causation or lack there have. every reasonable economist will tell that you it's nearly impossible to isolate the impact of right to work.laws on a state's job growth versus all the other factors that can affect employment. however one thing that numbers can prove is the right tohave a negative affect on the annual salary of workers in that state. according to the economic policy institute, wages for both unions and non-union workers in right to work states are about $1,500 less than a similar worker in a non-right to work state. i know proponents of right to work may not want to think so, but facts matter. that's why for my upcoming benefit for victims of hurricane sandy, i booked the strongest, smartest comics i could find. my comedian friends and i will raise money to rebuild homes and lives one laugh at a time. so
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tune in next friday for my all star comedy special. >> together we can get new yorkers back to yelling at strangers and ignoring our
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>> eliot: of the estimated $6 billion spent in the last election cycle the mysteries who paid for the ads flyers and phone calls was never solved, no could it be under the law as it existed. but a lot of that money came from so-called not for profit portions. now they're closeing the gaping loopholes that permitted the flood of money. and to report the percentage of their spending and who their donors are. if this approach goes national, voters may be surprised who is
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backing some of the big election heads while donors will no longer be able to hide in the shadowing backdrop. joining me is friend attorney general schneiderman. thank you for joining the show. >> thank you for having me. >> eliot: explain what you're doing and why? >> we have proposed legislation that would require the none profits that are being used and really being abused, to pay for political ads and other political activities while concealing the identity of the donors. we'll require those organizations to tell us how much they're spend on campaigns and if there is more than $10,000 spent on any local elections, state election or referendum, they have to provide
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a detailed list of the expenditures and donors who supported those expenditures. we estimate this year's election when the numbers are all added up will have over $500 million worth ever money spent by 501 c 4s, this one type of non-profit that the tax code allows for on straight political ads. we cover direct advocacy ads issue ads within six months of the campaign that say stop joe smith from raising your taxes and it's a detailed regulatory scheme that we think is going to close a loophole. if you give money to a candidate, and you give money to a pac, they have to disclose who the donors are. this vehicle is only used by people who want to influence an election and conceal their identity and we're closing that loophole with these regulations. >> eliot: to start with something that you said that you and i have been in the political
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arena, you appreciate this, people would be amazeed to realize not for profits are allowed to participate in pure political advertising. >> but there are very strict limits on it. the irs has been very close to take action. at the end of the day they are the ones who have the power to revoke the not-for-profit status which we hope it will encourage them to take more action. but most non-profits do not engage in political activity. pure charities can't spend a dollar. c-4s which are supposed to be exclusively for social welfare purposes are allowed to spend a little bit of money for political purpose. there is no question that citizens united was decided in 2010 we've seen an extraordinary increase in the amounts being spent and frankly
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people who want to conceal their identity want to do it because these organizations pay for the worst ads. if you're paying for the slimiest attack ad of all time you probably don't want your name associated with it. if it's the worst advertising and a lot of advertising, the voters will know who the contributers are. you can assess someone based on that. candidates are required to disclose pacs and super pac that is have come into existence are required to disclose. this is the one vehicle for dark money, and we're going to shut it down. >> eliot: now importantly you're not limiting somebody's first amendment right. you're simply saying you must disclose who is paying for it. >> correct. this is something that even in the citizens united decision, which i believe is a bad decision and hopefully will be overturned justice kennedy emphasized that one of the
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things that made it possible to take the spending limits away was disclosure, voters would be able to know who is giving money. >> eliot: which has not happened because the republicans in congress has stymied the disclose act. but what you're doing we're going to force to you disclose because you're not for profit. you're not doing this in other jurisdictions. it's in the not-for-profit world world. >> and specifically we're dealing with spending in new york state or local elections. we have mayoral elections coming up, we have elections going on all over the state. we want it set up in time to protect new york voters, and incidentally to protect donors. if you see something about the ethics in government you might give money to it if you don't know who they're spending money on. as you point out we do have some of our good colleagues in congress including senator schumer working to pass the
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disclose act. we're the first state to take this step. we're encouraging other states to take the step, and we hope this will eventually persuade our colleagues in washington to actually pass the disclose act. >> eliot: we have a house that is republican. you in your work leading up to today's announcement found 21 other states, give or take, that could unilaterally do what you're doing follow your lead and say not for profits in our state must disclose. then you begin to reach the big states you begin to reach virtually the entire nation. >> you do. i have spoken to the attorney general of maryland head of the national attorney general association, he'll pass our materials onto colleagues in our states. we hope this approach is adopted by other states. we also hope that our federal counterparts take action because really it breaks down the whole system of government to have
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mysterious--and also frankly these could be corporate expenditures. you may not know what a corporation is spending money on. it could be individuals who have all sorts of things in their background that should be disclosed. even when sheldon adelson gave all this money to newt gringrich, he at least did it through a super pac so you knew he was giving money to newt gringrich, and you could make an assessment. >> eliot: has the irs indicated they're interested in this? like the sec and other areas of your jurisdiction, you pushed the fed, the irs could do much more, do you think they will? >> they have not. i think they will. i think they may need some encouragement from other federal actors, but they are--they really have not dealt in this area. they have not ruled on the definition of how much they are allowed to spend. we're going to close the gap in new york and hopefully they will close it.
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>> eliot: my guess they will be pressured, and the white house will look at them and say this is not a partisan thing. this is a matter of what not for profits are not supposed to do. get off your whatever, and irs should do it. eric schneiderman, thank you. this will shed light in the darkest corners of our political arenas. why the gridlock in washington?
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rich, chewy caramel rolled up in smooth milk chocolate. don't forget about that payroll meeting. rolo.get your smooth on. also in minis.
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>> eliot: the people have spoken, their message was loud and clear. wealthy americans could and should pay more in taxes. it was an argument that president obama argued so effectively that nearly half of the republicans polled say the president has now has the mandate to raise taxes on the rich. why the republicans totally tone deaf and why aren't the fiscal cliff negotiations any closer? >> we have been reasonable and responsible in our approach to this. we'll continue to do that. it's time for the president to do his part.
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>> i'm pretty confident that the republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to try to protect tax cuts for high income individuals. >> eliot: funnying me now to discuss the latest going on in the fiscal cliff saga is congresswoman jackie speier. welcome. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> eliot: rather than saying yes we'll agree to some agree to some marginal rates to the wealthy, they want to make permanent the tax cuts to the wealthy. what's going on in the head of john boehner. >> i'm not sure it's the head of john boehner but the heads of the tea party members who did not read the results of the last election. it's important to realize that the bipartisan bill by republicans and democrats in the senate were passed extending the tax cuts for those making under
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$250,000, and fixes the amg which we have not spent much time talking about. that expired december 31st of last year. unless we fix that this year there will be a rude awakening for about 60 million middle class families who all of a sudden will see themselves paying more in taxes. so there is no--there is no reason for this high drama that we're going through right now. >> eliot: that's exactly right. now one has to differentiate between what is public and the% statement that speaker boehner is making and the notion that they would send that bill up to the white house extend it permanently cannot be their negotiating position right now. but they have not publicly agreed the higher rates for the wealthy, and they have not agreed to pass the bill for the 98% giving comfort to the middle class. doesn't their negotiating position get weaker every day? >> i believe so. and it's important to also note that everybody even the wealthy, are going to continue to have a tax cut for the first
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$250,000. >> eliot: that is correct. >> for everyone. there is a tax cut for everyone in this country for the first $250,000 of income. >> eliot: you raised the a tmt. i want to shift to the other piece of this bargain, the cuts in spending, two-thirds of this negotiated deal which eventually we will get to will relate to cuts in spending. how much do we know at this point about what the proposed cuts will be? it does bother me a little bit that the democratic side, which we have to support that as well, has not given more information about the cuts that are being proposed. where do you think we should come out on that? >> here is my big fear. i believe the extent that the president continues to negotiate with speaker boehner as he must do but to the extended that they have to have the majority of the majority to sign off with any kind of a bill will probably mean that it's going to have a
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huge affect on senior citizens. i'm not going to go there. this whole concept of having the age for medicare benefits to kick in move from 65 to 67, as if that's going to be some incredible savings is only going to save about $2 billion a year. now when you're looking at coming up with $100 billion a year, and there are so many other areas to look at why would we put that kind of a burden on a vulnerable population? these are senior citizens. these are people who have been waiting to get to medicare, and all of a sudden we're going to bump it another two years? and then they become much more uninsurable because once you reach 64, 65, 66, you start to have chronic conditions, and insurers oftentimes will not support it. it is not a way to go.
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it's more about them wanting their pound of flesh. i thought we were beyond that. i thought the election sent a very strong message that the american people want us to get together and do this job in a bipartisan fashion, and stop throwing sand at each other in the sandbox. >> eliot: you are so right and you made a series of critical points. raising the eligibility age for medicare does not save a lot of money. it saves a tiny bit of money. those who would be in that gap between 65 and 67 would still have to be insured. and the similar as a whole would not save any real money in terms of healthcare costs. then you referred to something which is needing the majority of the majority. i want to ask to you explain that. what you mean i think is that for the republicans to even bring a bill to the floor they need a majority of their conference to agree to the bill, which means it's going to be a draconian piece of legislation. >> that's correct. with the number of democrats in the house right now we're at
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200, 201 you don't need that many republicans to pass a reasonable measure that will let the tax cuts on those making over $250,000 expire, use some elements to bring down the spending without going after medicare and social security. those are issues that we should address, but not part of the fiscal cliff. >> eliot: there would an way to thread the needle with the moderate republicans and without deferring the republicans because of this majority of the majority rule. you know, time is up, unfortunately. we rarely go to bon jovi for political wisdom, but linguistics is what politics is all about. he said we should not be using the phrase "entitlements" but "empowerment." should we strike the word entitlements.
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